3rd Level! This is another area that can only be accessed by special tour, like the Viator tour we took. This is as high as a tourist can get in the Colosseum, and the views are spectacular.
We've just climbed the stairs from the second floor to the third, and the tour guide (right) is giving us information as we take a breather.
In some ways, this level has the best preserved halls.
And most awesome views.
The tour guide pointed out that some of the original marble steps are visible, shown in this photo. He also noted that seating was strictly regulated, with the upper class (including politicians) sitting closest to the arena floor, followed by middle class men around the second level, and that the upper level - where these steps led - were for women. This is another aspect of Roman culture I have issues with.
Close-ups of those steps.
Early in the morning, it is as peaceful and serene as this photo looks. Italians are not early risers. In fact, they don't even eat dinner until after 8, usually 9 pm. That's when the city is cooling down.